Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Slow Down

Interesting article: Why working less is better for the globe

When people work longer hours, they rely increasingly on convenience items such as fast food, disposable diapers, or bottled water. Built-in obsolescence has become standard business practice -- just throw it away and make more -- leaving mountainous landfills in its wake. "Earning more often means spending money in ways that are environmentally detrimental. We're finding that to compensate for lack of time, you actually need more money to work those extra hours," says Monique Tilford, acting executive director of the Centre for a New American Dream, a Maryland group promoting environmentally and socially responsible consumption. "When people are time-starved they don't have enough time to be conscious consumers. The overarching theme of our organization is to remind Americans that every single dollar they spend has a carbon impact, to make the connection."

This is something I've felt but not quite been able to articulate. The need to completely give up my time to earn money... and how much of it do I then spend on things to save me time? One of the things I want to try to do is embrace more of the "slow" movement - slow food, making things by hand, taking more time to smell the roses.

I don't know how far down the road I'll go, but I'm at least starting to take one step at a time.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Excavating Email

I've been spending some time lately cleaning out old emails. I've got several accounts that I've had since 2001, and my goodness, there's a lot of ancient history buried there.

It has been a completely worthwhile exercise - on the one hand, I've got too much baggage these days and it's time to clean things up and let them go. On the other, I'm finding that it's a very powerful reminder of the fact that I used to be a very different person than I am today.

Best of all, reading all these old messages is giving me some ideas about how I move back towards being that sort of person. She was a lot more interesting and had a lot more fun.

I feel lighter already, just reading them.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sudden Change of Plans

Okay, it's one thing to invite someone to a dinner party and forget to tell them what time it starts.

It's another thing to invite someone to a dinner party, forget to tell them when it starts, and expect them to be there at 3PM. OMGWTFBBQ.

So much for all the stuff I was going to get done this afternoon...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Knitting Update

Because I KNOW you are dying to know. C'mon.

Hot water bottle cover - finished.
HP scarf - halfway finished.
Stash scarf - 2/3 finished.

In addition, I recently bought a dress to wear to an upcoming wedding, and I realized that some yarn I bought AGES ago to make a wrap out of was in fact the PERFECT COLOR for the dress. So I spent a day swatching, and then a few days knitting, and then a day rethinking and trying larger needles, and now I'm about 4" into it, in what I believe/hope to be the final incarnation. And I have 2 weeks to finish it. Can it be done? Unclear. But I'm taking a stab at it.

I'm sorry about the lack of pictures. My camera is doing it's very best to imitate a rock at the moment, and I could try to use my webcam, but really, I don't want you to see how messy the table is. Seriously. And trying to hold up knitting but not get in the picture myself... well, we all saw what happened when I tried to get a picture of Loki that way.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


The worst thing about taking vacation time is the inevitable mess you find when you get back.

And I mean inevitable in a very literal sort of way. It ALWAYS happens. Sigh.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Exam Thoughts

Are you allowed to ask about the differences between JSP and ASP on the final exam if there was only one fleeting mention of ASP in the entire class, which went something like, "JSP was developed in response to ASP"? 'Cause that seems kind of bastardy to me.

Thank God for Google.

Saturday, May 12, 2007


I am so clearly meant to be a word person rather than a numbers/code person. Seriously. I keep thinking, "No, I should get farther into coding!" and then I run into a situation like this... I have a written exam for a coding class. And ye gods, it is SO MUCH EASIER to talk about programming than it is to program. Seriously.

This explains why I freakin' rock at business analysis - I am really good at translating between development and business units. Because I understand both business: "we want X" and dev: "X is not possible" enough to know that sometimes you can get to X if you wiggle things around a little bit and approach from a different angle. And I almost have enough technical savvy to understand where that angle might be, and enough politic-ness to suggest it to both sides, though please, please don't ask me to do the actual coding.

I can't tell you how nice it is to be reminded what I am good at.

Now I just need to find a better way to harness that.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Something Must Be Wrong

I walked by the kitchen this morning, and someone was cutting up a banana... and it smelled GOOD.

I usually loathe bananas, so now I'm wondering what's wrong. A potassium deficiency, or something? (I don't know, what else is in bananas besides fructose?)

In other news - praise all the heavens, they've fixed that slamming door. God bless Facilities.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Abby: Purveyor of Fibery Goodness

Just wanted to mention how much I enjoy Abby's yarn site. Not only does she have tons of yarn pr0n on there, but all kinds of mini-tutorials on spinning.
(Because THAT'S a hobby I need to pick up. *ducks*)

But I have been finding myself surfing the 'net for pictures of yarn lately, which is a little strange. I've been in high productivity mode on the knitting front (there has been a lack of pictures, but I'm about halfway done with the HP scarf, and almost that far with my use-up-stash scarf, though the finishing work on my hot water bottle cover has languished, in part due to the warm weather), but I'm also trying to watch my budget. And given the size of my existing yarn stash... can't really justify a bunch of yarn purchases. It is unfortunate that my taste has changed since I started acquiring yarn, but I just have to deal. So new yarn purchases are not really in the cards. But oh, how I covet.

That said, I got some lovely lovely purple yarn in the mail from Abby today - I had made the purchase because she was having a sale, and I finished my taxes early, but there was a wee bit of trouble with an incorrect shipping address, so I'm getting delayed reaction gratification. She threw in a little something extra in the form of a skein of pale green sock yarn, which was awesome (and soft!). It's nice when your sig. other has close personal ties to your supplier.

It's also nice when your supplier is a creative person who you admire because she is doing something she really cares about, and doing it well. The only danger is to my wallet.


The stairwell door, it is broken. SLAM! Every time someone walks through it... SLAM!

I had no idea how much traffic went through that door. Until today. SLAM!

It is driving me batshit crazy.


Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Dreaming of Cake

Apparently May has moved to mid-summer. I had no idea. Everyone keeps saying the heatwave is due to be over any day, yet it keeps on roastin'.

Not that I'm really complaining. I'm rather enjoying it, really. Nice change of pace. And as long as I'm remembering to water, my plants don't seem to mind overmuch.

Soon I will go home, and tonight (along with the work) there will be Indian food and cake! Can't go wrong with cake.

Especially chocolate.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

I Can Has Grammar

Anil Dash has written an article on what he calls lolcat pidgin. I am highly amused to see intellectual analysis applied to pictures of cats with funny captions... but then on the other hand, why not?

It's an interesting read, particularly for procrastinators. Lots of nice linkage to pull you out into the vast reaches of the internet.

Friday, May 4, 2007

How many cats?

I really enjoyed Crazy Aunt Purl's story about cats and dating, because... I have experienced this. Not so much with the dating, because, you know, I has a Bucket. But when people find out you have cats, they always ask, with that slightly weird tone to their voice, "Oh. How many?"

And I say two, and usually there is a slight relaxation there, like, "Well, I guess that's alright."

And I can't even entirely blame them, because anytime I am exposed to cute kittenhood, part of the reason I think to myself "No, must not acquire any more cats," contains a little bit of "any more than 2 and people will call me a crazy cat lady."

And let's face it. I'm crazy. And I'm a cat lady. But I'm not a "worrying about the neighbors calling animal control because there are 30 cats breeding in the basement and the stench is becoming unbearable" sort of crazy cat lady. And neither is Crazy Aunt Purl. It's funny how people assume there's a super short spectrum:

No cats = good ---- 2 cats = borderline ---- 3 cats = crazy cat lady

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Dear Loser

Ummm. You really have to hear this to believe it. But, uh, I don't recommend listening to it at work.

You make me touch your hands for stupid reasons!


Sun is streaming in the window, but the trees across the way are silhouetted in front of dark clouds.

An omen? Or just pretty weather?

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

May Day

Oh, and belated happy May day! It kind of got missed at Chez Jessa this year, with my not having planned ahead and therefore having no strawberries in the house. A May Day with no strawberries! Unheard of in my family.

But I picked some up last night, and if y'all will excuse me, I'm going to have some for breakfast right now.

Quietness next to... cleanliness?

The problem I have with blogging these days is... I'm trying to exercise the "if you don't have anything nice to say, say nothing at all" restraint. And that plus "things I don't want on the internet right now" -- well, they are really limiting my capacity for monologue.

I mean, I could talk about my cats some more, but really, no one wants that.

So I will just say... having spent the weekend helping my grandparents make their already-clean house even cleaner, I am looking around my apartment and noticing afresh what a sty it is. And trying to rally up the energy to do something about it. The problem is, once you let it get bad, it takes so much energy to restore it to presentable state. It's one of the problems of living alone, I guess. No one to clean up for but myself.

But given that I'll be downgrading the size of my living space very soon, I'd better take a stab at more preventative maintenance.

ETA: I was talking to Kristin this week, and she's been going through something remarkably similar. That makes me feel a little better.